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“What a classic, what's not to love” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Raffles Beijing Hotel

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Raffles Beijing Hotel
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   33 East Chang An Avenue, Dongcheng District, Beijing 100004, China (Xidan)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #27 of 5,463 Hotels in Beijing
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Toronto
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“What a classic, what's not to love”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2009

What a fantastic hotel. I absolutly loved this place!! Firstly, this hotel is very new which is certainly not the case at the next door Grand Hotel Beijing. This hotel is connected to a string of indoor offices and shopping. Also a great location because it is close to a pedestrian shopping street and across the street from the Forbidden City. Since I travelled with someone on business, this gave me time to explore both as well as excursions to the Summer Palace and part of the Great Wall. Our suite was beautiful and had a great view of the Forbidden City. The staff here is great and truely every wish is your command. We had come from the Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong and were hoping to stay at the one in Beijing, we chose this one because of the better location to offices. This is no Peninsula Hong Kong but it is certainly very nice. My first dining experience within the hotel other than room service was La Vie which serves a stellar afternoon tea. I found this tea just as good as in the Peninsula Hong Kong. I have had afternoon tea in many places and this was among the best! East 33 is another great restaurant that is traditional Pekingese cuisine. This was my first restaurant to have Peking Duck in China and pretty much had it every night for the remander of our stay! We also ate here the last night and really enjoyed it but had pizza instead that was great. Probably the best place in Beijing for Peking Duck is the restaurant that only serves it, while I cannot recall the Mandarin name, some consider this place a tourist trap although the duck is absolutly exquisite. And as an added plus, at the end of your meal you recieve a little ticket saying that you ate duck number 1 billion...... I still have mine on my desk! I ate two times at JAAN (back at Raffles Hotel) because I love french cuisine. It was absolutly stunning and loved it!!!!
We only ate outside of the hotel twice throughout the week (once at the duck restaurant and the other at the adjacent Grand Hotel's Old Peking Restaurant). This restaurant was very traditional but my least favorite of all the restaurants because of the staff's inability to speak English whereas all other restaurants had great, friendly staff!!!!!
I would have loved to come back for or have gone during the Summer Olympics because the Chinese did a lovely job.
As another added unplanned bonus, we were able to see the some of the just completed facilities such as the athlete's residences, swimming pool building and "bird's nest" where the opening and closing ceremonies were held.
Friends of mine were able to attend and stayed at the Ritz Carlton which was not finsihed when we were there. They absolutly loved it although I do not know where in the city it is located.

  • Stayed March 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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singapore
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
76 helpful votes 76 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2009

We stayed 6 nights in their Raffles Inc Executive Room which is essentially a junior suite. The room was very spacious, luxurious and clean. Decor was contemporary and not tacky. It had all the amenities that you would want including free high speed internet, 2 flat screen TVs and a DVD player on request.

Service was top-notch - e.g. everyone from bellboy, restaurant staff and front desk made it a point to remember and address me by name. Even the cook at their East33 restaurant made a point to remember what condiments I liked in my daily bowl of noodles for breakfast! The breakfast spread at their East33 restaurant was good and the high tea in the lobby, excellent.

Location is another plus point. It is next to Wangfujing Street with Oriental Plaza opposite. It is also walking distance to Tiananmen and Forbidden City. If you wish to avoid traffic jams and travel by subway, Wangfujing Station is just outside the main hotel entrance.

The only thing that I didn't like was the DVD player that I asked for - all the buttons on the remote were in Chinese. But this was just a minor hiccup as the overall experience was fantastic, having travelled to more than 20 countries and stayed at numerous good hotels.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Guilford, CT USA
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2009

Beautiful all over. Elegant but not stuffy. Room was very large and comfortable. Service was superb from every possible person. The food in the basic restaurant was outstanding, creative and tasty. Not inexpensive but reasonable value for gourmet quality. Great breakfast. The location is perfect. It's a mere 10 minute walk to the Forbidden City and Tianamen Square. Five minutes in the other direction puts you on a major walking shopping street, great for an evening stroll or mid-day break. I used the business Center once and it was very efficient. Whether for business or romance, this is a great place to stay in Beijing!

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Plumley
Top Contributor
127 reviews 127 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 58 cities Reviews in 58 cities
83 helpful votes 83 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2009

This is a 5 Star Hotel, Staff and Service are the best. The doormen & Concierge are extremely helpful. The location within walking distance of Forbidden City and Tianomen Square.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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Dallas, Texas
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2009

The Beijing Raffles met all of our expectations: best location, grand lobby, attentive staff, etc. We were in a "personality room". This included breakfast, afternoon tea, and many other amenities. The room was in the original part of the hotel. We also used the comfortable club lounge. John, their ambassador, was most helpful. He assisted us in where to eat and what to do. One night, he walked us, in a snow storm, to the Made in China restaurant. Thanks John for making our visit most enjoyable.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Essex
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2009

Our stay at Raffles was fantastic, the staff were all very helpful & spoke very good english. Our room was spacious, clean & very luxurious. One of the best things about this hotel is its location, literally just down the road from The Forbidden City, Tianmen Square & round the corner from Wanfujing Street.

I highly recommend this hotel

  • Liked — Location & Luxury
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Canada
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
77 helpful votes 77 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2009

The Raffles Beijing is a five-star luxury hotel in central Beijing located just an eight-minute walk from Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. It's a real deal when you consider that a room here costs just a bit more than what you'd pay for an average hotel room in N. America. I'm glad that I splurged for this hotel because I loved the tasteful lobby and public areas, the comprehensive and delicious buffet breakfast, the convenient location, not to mention the warmth and spaciousness of the Executive Inc. room (in the back part of the building).

In addition to the short walking distance eastward to Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, you can also walk a few blocks north and you'll be in the middle of a "hutong neighborhood". From there, the possibilities for exploration are endless.

The Raffles is an inexpensive taxi ride away from all of the major attractions in Beijing. For example:

- the Summer Palace (60 CNY taxi ride)
- Liulichang Street, for antique shopping (15 CNY taxi ride)
- West Railway Station (30 CNY taxi ride)
- Temple of Heaven (20 CNY)
- Lama Temple / Confucius Temples (20 CNY)

The hotel is also a five minute walk from the famous Wangfujing Street shopping haven. The cornerstone property is the Oriental Plaza with hundreds of stores including JNBY, Calvin Klein, MEXX, Burberry, DKNY, Hugo Boss, Bata, Bally, Coach, Swarovski, Armani, Givenchy, Nike, Ecco, Bauhaus, Swatch, Rolex, Tiffanys, Starbucks, a foodcourt, etc. etc. Further down the street are other western designer-brand stores, some Chinese stores, a mega-bookstore (can't remember it's name), a "Foreign Language Bookstore", a KFC and a McDonalds.

A taxi from the airport to the Raffles cost 75 CNY (= $15 Cdn) at 7 pm (relatively light traffic). The return taxi cost 100 CNY (= $20 Cdn) at 1:00 pm (heavier traffic). I didn't have to take a taxi through the rush hour, that might cost you more. Always use a meter taxi with a taxi light on top, and a sticker on the side rear windows. Taxi drivers don't seem to know what you' mean when you say you're going to "the Raffles Beijing". However, the Raffles is attached to the "Beijing Hotel", and taxi drivers seem to know the Beijing Hotel.

The buffet breakfast was very well done. Options included freshly-prepared noodle soup (with shrimp, other seafood, and/or chicken)., freshly-prepared eggs or omelette, various hot dishes (eg. veal sausages, beans, steamed vegetables, potatoes lyonnaise, baked tomatoes w/gruyere cheese on top, fried rice), assorted fresh fruit (typically cantalope, honeydew, pineapple, papaya, and dragonfruit), breads and pastries, cereals, fresh-squeezed juices, yogurt and cheeses, sushi (not great), bacon, coffee and tea. The service was excellent. Your used plates were whisked away the instant you were finished. Fresh coffee was poured for you when your cup ran low. One thing, though, on the last few days of our stay the Raffles closed down the "hot food area" of the buffet. You could still get a fresh omelette or eggs, but you had to order with the waiter (it was still included with the buffet breakfast). Apparently, they do this latter method in their slower seasons.

Each evening in the lobby a harpist played classical music in the lobby area.

The Executive Inc. room is very spacious and clean, although nothing too fancy (the Landmark Rooms are the original rooms with more tradiional/classic furnishings and draperies). The beds are VERY FIRM. Our rooms had two twin beds in the sleeping area, separated from the 'living area' where there was a loveseat, an armchair, a desk/chair, and a large flat-screen tv. The bathroom was in two sections. One part had a toilet, bidet and bathtub. The other part had a large walk-in shower, twin basins, and a large closet with a large in-room safe (their website describes it as "laptop sized"). There is no view from these rooms in the back section (you're looking onto another building).

The room has a small fridge, which was handy (we bought some snacks from the supermarket in the lower level of the Oriental Plaza... expensive but handy). . Also, in your room you are provided with a kettle, china teacups, tumblers, wine glasses, teaspoons, a selection of teas, and instant coffee.

Other ammenities: terry towel robes, complimentary shoe shines, cloth slippers, lovely lotions, complimentary water, turndown service, hair blow dryer, swimming pool, and a top notch exercise facility.

A few disappointments:
1) The conceirge service: The three times I asked the conceirge to help me get a "regular meter taxi", I was only once obliged, and I suspect that one time was only because I was standing beside the (Australian) hotel manager at the time, and the conceirge staff felt they had to oblige me. On the other two occasions, the conceirge summoned a non-metered car that charges you more than a regular taxi would have cost (I refused to pay, though).
2) Half way through my six-day stay at the Raffles, I walked into the Executive Lounge to enjoy Happy Hour, and was told by the Executive Lounge staff that I could no longer use the Executive Lounge because the "policy had changed" for those of us who'd booked our Executive rooms on Expedia. I would now have to pay 250 CNY per day to use the executive lounge!!! I asked to speak to a manager, and was permitted to use the Executive Lounge for the remainder of my visit. However, I still didn't appreciate the awkward situation I was put in (walking into a lounge and being told you can't be there! If they were changing the policy, couldn't they have notified me in advance somehow to save me this awkwardness?) Anyway, I would recommend you double-check on your entitlements re: executive lounge before you commit to your room. Note: they also changed the hours of "Happy Hour" without any notice to me!
3) When I first checked in, we were given a Landmark Room (bedroom/ sitting area combined in 1 room) despite having paid for an Executive Inc. room (separate bedroom and sitting room). When we called the front desk about it, they wanted us to stay in the Landmark room overnight and move the next day. They said there were no more Executive Inc. rooms available. We asked to speak to a manager, and pressed the point that we didn't want to have to move rooms, but if we HAD to, we thought we should be put overnight in a two-room suite because that's what we paid for. All of a sudden one of the Executive Inc. rooms became available!!!!

I mention these disappointments because I consider Tripadvisor as a forum to be impartial... to say both the good and the bad, so that future travelers can benefit ... the negative stuff is useful to either help prevent the same things from happening to someone else, or (if you can't change it) to be realistically prepared for the 'negatives' of any given hotel.

Despite the negatives, we really enjoyed our stay at the Raffles and would consider staying there again. You can't beat the location, and the comfort of this classic luxury hotel.

  • Stayed January 2009
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Raffles Beijing Hotel

Address: 33 East Chang An Avenue, Dongcheng District, Beijing 100004, China
Location: China > Beijing Region > Beijing > Xidan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#10 Romantic Hotel in Beijing
#11 Family Hotel in Beijing
#17 Business Hotel in Beijing
#21 Luxury Hotel in Beijing
#259 Best Value Hotel in Beijing
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Raffles Beijing Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 171
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Reflecting Oriental refinement and French élan, Raffles Beijing Hotel epitomises refinement and exclusivity. Established in the early 1900s, this luxury Beijing hotel was then proclaimed as “the only deluxe hotel in the Far East”. A century on, guest rooms and suites draw inspiration from the golden age of travel but are technologically enabled with discretion for 21st century living. Personality Suites pay homage to luminaries from the hotel’s fabled history while Raffles Inc Business Rooms cater to business travellers on the move.Indulge in gastronomic delights at this Beijing hotel. Innovative French cuisine takes centrestage at the elegant Jaan Restaurant which recalls the glamour of the 1920s with glittering chandeliers and its original timber dance floor.The vibrant East 33 meanwhile offers international fare and the popular weekend Seafood Extravaganza.Ideally situated at the crossroads of famous Chang An Avenue and the district of Wangfujing, Raffles Beijing Hotel lies in the heart of the prestigious business and commercial districts, a few minutes from historical attractions such as the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Temple of Heaven, the Silk Market, and modern marvels such as the ‘Water Cube’ National Swimming Centre and ‘Bird’s Nest’ Olympic Stadium which captured the world’s imagination during the Summer Olympics of 2008. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Raffles Hotel Beijing
Beijing Raffles Hotel
Raffles Beijing

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